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Customer database

The importance of a customer database

 

 

If you don’t collect customer information or if the information you have is hidden away in paper files, or hopelessly out of date, you’re not taking advantage of a valuable marketing tool.

Successful businesses are great at customer retention because they know you get better results from selling to customers you already have than by trying to find new ones. However, if you don’t know who your customers are or how to contact them you’ll just have to wait and hope they come back.

By collecting great information about your customers, then acting on it, you can improve both the customer’s experience and your bottom line. People will usually give you their contact information and opt-in to receive marketing information for the following reasons:

  • They are a regular customer
  • To receive discounts and special offers
  • As part of a promotion
  • To receive expert advice

What information should I collect?

We highly recommend you collect at least the basics i.e. name, email, phone number and address or location, but you may also want to consider gathering other information to help you send more personalised and targeted communication.

  • Demographics - the customer’s age, gender and profession
  • Spending habits - by recording each customer’s transactions i.e. what, when and how often they make a purchase, you’ll know which products and services they want to hear about

You will need collect and store your customers’ information responsibly, ensuring you have a privacy policy on your website and comply with the Privacy Act 1993.

Get permission!

 Before contacting your customers, make sure you understand the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007, which covers email, fax, instant messaging and text. The Department of Internal Affairs has fantastic, easily understood information for businesses to help them comply.

Essentially, you must have permission to contact your customer and any commercial message must clearly identify your business, advise how you can be contacted and have an easy to use unsubscribe function.

What do I do now?

Grow your relationship with your customers by contacting them regularly. We highly recommend using Mail Chimp to send your e-newsletters; it’s easy to use, has great customer support and is free if you have less than 2000 subscribers. Your customers may be interested in receiving:

  • Appointment reminders
  • Reminders that maintenance is due
  • Staff updates, training and personal or professional achievements
  • Expert advice
  • To hear about a new or existing product or service
  • Information on loyalty rewards
  • Promotions or offers
  • Sale announcements
  • Invitations to in store events
  • Ask for feedback or reviews